WAG art exhibition returns to Newry and Warrenpoint

Daniel Hill


Daniel Hill

Friday 15 July 2022 16:34

WARRENPOINT Art Groups annual art exhibition has once again returned to Newry to satisfy the tastes of art aficionados of all colours throughout the area.

The exhibition, which will be housed in Newry City Library throughout the month of July as well as in Warrenpoint Municipal Park every Sunday between 1pm and 4pm through the months of July and August, showcases some of the finest art pieces that the local group, which is comprised of both professional and amateur artists from the Warrenpoint area, has produced in the past year.

Both Alix Cleverdon and Aisling Smith , who are just two of the many talented artists within the group , were keen to provide information on what artistic endeavours their organisation gets up to in and around Warrenpoint as well as shedding some light on how WAG first got started.

“There are a total of 15 artists in the Warrenpoint Art Group, we are known as WAG and we are two of the members. Some of us are professional, some are amateur and some are just trying to get back into art.

“The Art Group was established in September 2019 after our founding members Aisling Smith and Grace Murdock met at a NMD Council run outdoor sketching class in Warrenpoint Park August 2019.

“Both artists had a vision of an art group in Warrenpoint so along with other committee member Catherine Irwin, they envisaged a group of like minded artists coming together to support each other to develop through meetings, workshops and exhibitions. Grace used to run a cafe in Warrenpoint and she is trained professionally and now works as an art teacher and she is well known within the area. For many years she tried to set up a Warrenpoint Art Group.

“Before the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown Grace had a conversation with a fellow mother who was also interested in bringing local artists together, her name is Aisling.

“After a number of popular exhibitions and events, they planned for exhibitions and opportunities with the co-members in the group. Regular meetings, market stalls and supportive friendships are some of the many positive outcomes of this group.

“Aisling is really good at managing a team as she runs Homestart and is very competent with social networking online.

“Between the two of them they put the group together and they found a treasurer and they got more members, including myself, to come onboard.

“Warrenpoint Port has also supported Warrenpoint Art Group with financial help to buy display easels. Church Lane Coffee has hosted a number of pop up gallery events for the group as well.”

Alix elaborated on the details behind the groups open air art exhibition held in Warrenpoint Municipal Park known as “art in the park” stating that this event owes it genesis to the Newry, Mourne and Down District council asking the group to cheer up the park during the Covid 19 lockdown.

“Last summer during Covid restrictions the group partnered with the team in the NMD Heritage project at Warrenpoint Municipal Park. It was to organise a weekly focal point that complied with the restrictions.“

“The group started an outdoor exhibition in the Bandstand. The council asked Warrenpoint Art Group to cheer up the park during lockdown so with the social restrictions we were allowed to turn up and host an open-air art exhibition through July and August and it was a bit of a hit.

“We had the first open air art exhibition in summer of 2021 and it was very popular because it gave everyone a focal point and there was a lot more tourism because although people weren't allowed to go abroad, they could get in their car when the Lockdown was eased slightly.

“Ofcourse people floated to the seaside coastal towns such as Warrenpoint so we had a lot of tourists coming through. On a Sunday it was nice for them to have something to see and do because during the lockdown everything was shut more or less. Art in the Park was created and continues this summer in Warrenpoint Municipal Park every Sunday from 1-4pm.

“So, we have been asked by the Council to come back and do it again through the months of July and August this year without the restrictions so we just wanted to get the word out to let people know what was happening.”

Alix was also keen to provide detail on the nature of the art that will be on display at both the Art in the Park event that will be held every Sunday in Warrenpoint Municipal Park throughout the months of July and August between 1pm and 4pm, as well as what art will also be on display in Newry City Library.

“The exhibition will take place in the Newry city Library throughout the month of July during the libraries normal opening hours as well as being housed in the bandstand in the Warrenpoint Municipal park every Sunday through the months of July and August from 1pm to 4pm as well.

“The official launch of the event took place at Newry City Library. The paintings in the Library will be a bit larger than the paintings featured at the Warrenpoint Municipal Park setting. The work that would be on display in art in the park would be smaller because it is windy. Whenever the libraries open you can walk in and have a cup of coffee and enjoy the gallery.

“There will be around approximately twenty pieces featured in the library gallery. They are mostly landscapes in oil and watercolour and we also have a collage artist as well. Our collage artist has created a beautiful piece of the town hall. Another artist or ours Aisling is a hill walker and she takes photos of mountains and paints them in acrylics. Another artists in the group by the name of Joe would do more abstract landscapes and they are very popular, he uses gold in his paintings as well.”

“There are lots of exciting plans in the pipeline for Warrenpoint Art Group so check out our Facebook & Instagram page for further updates on events and links to all their members social media platforms.



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